EDITORIAL: A salute to those who keep going to keep us going during the coronavirus slowdown

EDITORIAL: A salute to those who keep going to keep us going during the coronavirus slowdown

It’s too early to know for sure, but it’s possible that we’ve entered a new normal.

We hope to emerge from our coronavirus quarantine in a couple of weeks or maybe a couple of months, but can you imagine ever going back to not using hand sanitizer 10 times a day?

But we hope to get back to some sense of normalcy when it comes to human interaction. Live streaming and Face Timing isn’t quite the same as shaking hands and hugging necks. But for now, except to go out for necessities, most of us are staying home and limiting human exposure to lower the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Most of us, but not all.

There are those among us who are still on the job, doing what they can to help maintain as much normalcy as possible for the rest of us.

We had become so accustomed to walking into our grocery store or department store of choice and finding what we want that we took it for granted. Lately though, it’s been tougher to find wipes, sanitizers, toilet paper and disinfectants, among other things. 

In this age of technology, someone behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler is still the most efficient and effective way to get products from a distribution center to a department store. The next time you turn down an aisle expecting to find a six pack of two-ply and it’s actually there, don’t forget to thank a truck driver.

With the prohibition of gatherings of 10 or more people, many restaurants are cutting back on hours and personnel. But in many cases, employees are being asked to transition to home delivery or curbside service. How much more of a disruption to our routine would it be if we couldn’t grab takeout a couple of times a week?

For some people, any food at all is a luxury. With schools out for two weeks, many kids would miss the only healthy meal they get all day. Several area school systems, in partnership with nonprofits and community residents, are collecting and passing out daily meals to car lines for local children in Lincoln, Talladega, Pell City, Anniston, Jacksonville, Calhoun and Cleburne counties, and others. Kudos to all the volunteers who are donating money, meals and time to the efforts.

Meantime, teachers and professors are transitioning their lesson plans to online instruction, so they can continue doing the work of educating the next generation of leaders.

Local gas, power and internet providers have announced that they won’t disconnect any customers who are unable to pay their bills due to financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.

Doctors and nurses are working around the clock to test those with symptoms and care for those who are diagnosed. As more cases are confirmed, those vital jobs will only get tougher. Thank you for putting yourselves in harm’s way to literally nurse your communities through this crisis.

As fear, anxiety and worry grips the nation, the need to nurture our spiritual and psychological well-being is as important as ensuring our physical health. Social workers are pressing onward in their increasingly important roles, as are pastors, who are live streaming sermons, sometimes from empty sanctuaries to congregations that are home on their sofas.

There are also the journalists who not only soldier on at the risk of their personal health, but oftentimes in the face of criticism from those they’re working to provide with valuable and potentially lifesaving information. Don’t be discouraged. History will remember you favorably.

And, of course, first responders — police, fire, emergency medical technicians and others — sign up for such a time as this. We need to make sure they and those in the medical field are equipped with everything they need to do their job without risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. They’re wired to run toward danger, not from it. When we call, you come, doing what you can to restore order … and a sense of normalcy. Thank you.